Obama Touts NCLB fixes (AP)

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US Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) touted his plans to fix No Child Left behind-Leaves Many Children behind at a campaign event in New Hampshire right before Thanksgiving, the Associated Press reports.

Unfortunately, his plan leaves a lot to be desired and fails to go to the root of the problem, which is too much bureaucracy at the top.

AP: The Illinois Democrat criticized Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and former Sen. John Edwards for not fully funding No Child Left Behind. While outlining his own education proposal to prepare students for college and to train teachers to lead in classrooms, Obama said the two rivals haven’t done enough to protect students.

“It’s pretty popular to bash No Child Left Behind out on the campaign trail, but when it was being debated in Congress four years ago, my colleague Dick Durbin offered a chance to vote so that the law couldn’t be enforced unless it was fully funded,” Obama said. “A lot of senators, including Senator Edwards and Senator Clinton, passed on that chance. And I believe that was a serious mistake.”

An Edwards spokeswoman said the criticism was not fair.

“In his rush to criticize, Senator Obama left out the inconvenient fact that he supported No Child Left Behind as an Illinois state senator before he opposed it as a presidential candidate,” Kate Bedingfield said. “It’s not ‘a new kind of politics’ to try to have it both ways.”


Obama’s plan would encourage universal pre-kindergarten programs — but not require them — expand teacher mentoring programs and reward teachers with increased pay not tied to standardized test scores. Failing teachers would be moved from classrooms and replaced with ones who are competent, Obama said.

Obama’s plan would cost $18 billion. His campaign said he would pay for it in part by delaying NASA‘s Constellation Program, which is developing the vehicle and rockets to go to the moon and later to Mars. He also proposes to help pay for the education plan by reducing costs by auctioning surplus federal property and by cutting down erroneous payments identified by the Government Accountability Office.

A Republican National Committee spokesman said Obama’s plan could actually hurt education.

“It is ironic that Barack Obama‘s plan to help our children reach for the stars is financed in part by slashing a program that helps us learn about those very same stars,” Danny Diaz said.


Massive sigh, and shaking my head in the ‘no’ direction…

E.C. 🙂


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